all roads

More good advice from the analogue age – which is vital also for the digital age.

This is wisdom received from a successful entrepreneur in the land of finance from the days before the “entrepreneur” was ubiquitous.

He taught me from an early age about the five rules for normal management.

Over the coming posts I’ll show how the ‘five rules for normal management’ apply excellently to great digital management.

Let’s roll on to rule number four and there’s a lot to this one:

Four: Be Professional

4.1 Foresight. A longer term vision. Segregate the important from the urgent (remember the urgent tends to replace the important). Prioritise. It can be done better. How?

4.2 Reliability. Never promise more than you know you can easily deliver. Deliver more. Do what you have said you will do; No matter what.

4.3 Integrity. Hard to earn a reputation for it, easy to lose it. Integrity separates the survivors from the flashes in the pan. A dedication both to excellence and to truth, no matter what. Give bad news first and quickly. Better to get your version of it on the table, than someone else’s.

4.4 Presentation: Bad form can destroy good content. You have to look professional, as well as being professional. A rigorous attention to overall organisation, as well as to detail. Spellcheck.

4.5 Timing: The key to getting business and appearing professional. It includes seizing every opportunity to speak to the customer – you may never know what is going on. Unpunctuality is a sign of lack of professionalism. If you feel “What’s happening on x”, trust your instinct. It’s time.

First, let’s address foresight. From a digital management perspective, if we don’t  have foresight, we’re not planning where we’re going. As the adage says

If we don’t know where we’re going,
all roads look just as good.

What’s the point of trying to manage data if we don’t know what we’re trying to  do with it.

Gartner’s perennial Hype Cycle back in 2013 used to have Big Data at the Peak of Inflated Expectations and it put Predictive Analytics way over on the Plateau of Productivity.

Too many of us are dabbling with Big Data and are hyping it up, ready to be disillusioned by it all. The smart ones don’t talk about big data, they talk about predictive analytics – knowing where they’re going – based upon all those streams of structured and unstructured data.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle, published annually since 1995

If you’re not familiar with Gartner, do see my earlier article introducing Gartner’s Hype Cycle.

Next, reliability and integrity are intrinsically linked. And these two together provide a foundation stone of the future of digital media: meritocracy. If you and your business can’t be transparent, can’t show clearly the merit of being part of the party, your days are numbered. Data provides meritocracy.

Finally, professionalism requires both the two buddies, presentation and timing. In an earlier post I talked about the 2Ps. Now let’s bring in the military 6Ps: Prior-Preparation-Prevents-Piss-Poor-Performance. The digital world shows how practice/experience/diligence allow us to get presentation and timing right.

Truly professional, digital business practice is vital to get ahead of the crowd. Can you bring examples of how foresight, reliability, integrity, presentation and timing are all vital to digital business management?

Please do comment below!